Model Earthquake Contingency Plan for the Caribbean

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has sought to address the region’s vulnerability to earthquakes through the Austrian funded Earthquake Readiness Capacity Building project. This was conducted through a two day workshop held on January 27 & 28, 2010 at the ODPEM’s office. 

The workshop facilitated a planning process for the development of a model national Earthquake Contingency Plan that promotes rapid, appropriate and effective response to a major earthquake impacting Jamaica with the aim of saving lives and minimizing injuries and damage to property. 

Areas explored in the workshop were Structural and Non- Structural measures such as instituting and enforcing building codes for all structures and instituting regimes to discourage development in certain hazard-prone areas. Establish emergency response and management information systems in advance so that response and recovery activities can be carried out quickly and smoothly. Ensure swift activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) to coordinate all activities of the emergency response agencies. 

A simulation exercise was conducted and participants from response agencies were given the opportunity to test their areas of expertise and how they would respond in the event of an earthquake. 

The Earthquake Contingency Plan focuses on the earthquake hazard however the countermeasures that were highlighted in the workshop are applicable to other hazards such as hurricanes, landslides, and floods.

Contact: Kimberley Weller, Information Officer